Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Quiet Garden

Last Sunday was the putting to bed of the garden. I found myself approaching this ritual with a mix of melancholy and tenderness. I haven’t had this garden very long and it’s barely a garden, really, there is so much still to do, but I have fallen sweetly in love with it.

Of course, there was the thrill of planting my first bulbs – a bright counterpoint to the quiet grey day.

I deep watered in my new trees and shrubs, after having soaked the stand of spruce along the back the weekend before. I sprayed “Wilt-pruf” on my spiral Alberta Spruce to help it through the winter. I could have covered it or put a burlap screen up but I really enjoy looking at it in the winter with snow accenting its curved lines.

We planted the tender rose, Sterling Silver, in the ground with hopes of overwintering it. I couldn’t bear to part with it, after all.

I left the blooms on the hydrangeas (‘Unique’ and ‘Little Lamb’) to enjoy out the window as well.

In a spot facing my kitchen window, I created the little vignette above with a bench and urn to give me something to look at over the winter.

Since it is now pitch black in the backyard in the evenings after I get home, I’ve even been thinking about adding an uplight on a timer to make the scene glow in the evenings and highlight the beautiful spruce trees behind the bench. I’ve never done any garden lighting before but it might help inspire my winter dreaming.

How do you keep your garden dreams simmering over the winter?


Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

I love the black and white photo at the start of your post. What is in the urn? I have two cement urn on my terrace on Toronto, and I fill them with curly willow branche for the winter. It i great looking out the window and seeing them. I think lighting would be great outside, it would really make a difference.

miss m (InfG) said...

Lovely vignette ! (Love the B & W)
I'm always sad to see my pretties go to sleep too but I guess we all need a rest at some point. Makes it all the more enjoyable meeting again in Spring.

The lighting should be a wonderful addition ! The city takes care of my garden lighting yearround... There's a park next door (baseball field/skating rink) that blasts its 50-ft light masts in my yard from dusk 'til 11 o'clock at night. Sweet ! (not)

The Garden Ms. S said...

Hi Deborah, the urn is filled with curly willow as well :) And some faux red berries on stems. It's surprising how much pleasure it brings me to have something to look at out the window.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Miss M: The city really should address that issue of light pollution.

I know I have a streetlight along the back lane off to the side of my backyard and I already thinking about how nice it will be when my blue spruce gets big enough to block it out :)

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Up lighting would be beautiful at your bench. Your black and white picture is so pretty.

Anonymous said...

Making good use of your camera, I see. The photo suits the tone of your article.

I usually don't think much about the garden after October. January will see me slowly reviving and I'll begin flipping through my favourite garden books and planning for the season ahead.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Hocking Hills: Thank you for the kind words. I think b/w photography can really work. This is one of the times it was the right kind of picture for it. Oh, and I think I will try the uplighting - the more I think about it, the more fun it sounds!

Zone3b: Yes, I get a goofy grin on my face everytime I have a chance to get my new camera out. It is loads of fun.

In January, some garden catalogues generally arrive packaged with my gardening magazines and they take up residence on my night table for dreaming purposes :) I have never actually ever ordered anything from a garden catalogue but this year might be a good time to try this method. I'm still solidifying my tree plan and hope to make some final decisions this winter.

sweet bay said...

I like the lighting idea! That would be beautiful.

We seldom feel winter's iron clench here, so some garden work can go on all year and makes sweating through the hot humid summers worthwhile.

Northern Shade said...

Your vignette with the bench and urn has a timeless look. It's satisfying to have a beautiful scene to look at out a window. I always focus on my favourite sections when I look out.

I leave all my Hydrangea blooms on too. Next to the evergreens, they are the most decorative plants through winter.

I catch up with a lot of my garden record keeping over the winter, checking the records, adding new info, resorting the spreadsheets, updating my maps. That takes me maybe as far as the end of November. :) I go over my wishlists, and do a bit of planning. (up to the beginning of December?) In December I still enjoy just looking at the snow on the conifers. Then I do some bulb forcing. However, by January and February I long to be out in the garden. By March, I'm eyeing up the blow dryer as a snow melting tool.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Sweetbay: It must be very nice to be able to work away at it as you get inspired. I think the warm seasons are probably a little more frenzied here as we try to fit it all in :)

Northern Shade: Love the blowdryer idea! :) I think I will take some time this winter to work on tracking, planning and dreaming.

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

I have tagged you for an Honest Scrap award. You can read about it on my blog. Do not feel you have to accept, there is no pressure.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

I enjoy putting the garden to bed, I look forward to each season, the winter is a time to rest and to enjoy the beauty of the garden in the winter.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Deborah: Thank you so much for thinking of me. However, I have to decline as I am going full out these days :)

Iowa Gardening Woman: I am looking forward to the time to contemplate next year's garden. So much to think about this winter as I plan some hardscaping! :)

Beth said...

It's so hard to believe that the whole entire season has gone by. I love reading about all that you have accomplished this year and to have watched it from the beginning is just amazing. Congratulations on all that you have done. Happy dreaming!

The Garden Ms. S said...

Hi Beth, thank you for your kind words. I feel like there is still so much to do - but maybe that's the way of gardens - keeping us inspired year after year! :)

Mark Disero said...


I would like to include you in my list of Canadian Gardening blogs, but I don't know what province you are in. Please let me know.


The Garden Ms. S said...

Hi Mark, we are in Alberta.

Best wishes with your site :)